With school out for the summer, how are you keeping your kids occupied?

Research shows children can fall behind in school if they do not stay engaged during the summer months. That has some school districts expanding efforts to keep kids reading and learning.

A summer reading program in Everett is now expanding. Five schools are now keeping the libraries open so kids and their parents can continue to check out books.

In Seattle and Highline school districts, a new program called Book Up Summer is in the testing phase. That allows low income students to pick out 12 books to take home for the summer.

Parents don't have to do work every single day, said Zac Stowell, 4th and 5th grade teacher at Northgate Elementary School in Seattle. Stowell says he has statistical proof that students fall behind during the summer months.

Stowell compiled ongoing MAP test results for students. He s created a line graph that clearly shows test scores at the start of the school year are below where they were at the end of the previous school year. Stowell finds that it sometimes takes 2-to-3 months for a child to catch up to where they left off.

We need to help kids stay sharp and practice, he said. During the summer, read anything, as long as you are engaged in thinking.

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